A/N: Late again. I'm not even going to bother with excuses, folks. I'm sorry.
We're finally getting into the story. The plot is thickening; are y'all excited? I am.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the songs used. Credit goes to the artists Family Force 5 and Enrique Iglesias (whom I'm not really a fan of, but I couldn't think of anything else).
Of Fevers and Alleyways
Torin's face twisted into a pained grimace as the alcohol slid down his throat. He lifted the bottle to see how much was beer was left. The meager contents swished noisily at the bottom.
Damn. How much had he drunk?
The beat of the techno song blaring through the speakers made the floor under his feet shake. His head ached from the multicolored light that flashed crazily over those dancing and drinking in the club.
They were all drunk, they were all wild, they didn't have to worry about a stupid wind block that prevented him from reaching Vanus.
This was important information he carried. It was so hard to sit back and WAIT like this. This could be the only chance he'd have of finally getting recognition. The good sort.
A copper haired girl came to stand next to Torin's stool. She was clad in a black skin-tight, extremely low cut shirt and a short red wrap-around skirt.
'Why aren't you dancing with us?' she asked, her lips pouting.
Torin scrubbed his forehead. 'I'm not in the mood, Ahzya. Go back and find a different guy to dance with.'
'But I want you.' She smoothed a hand over his shoulder.
'Please, Ahzya.' His silver eyes were hard. 'Nemir, Goth, and Kaith are here. Dance with one of them.
Ahzya rolled her eyes, barely visible in the darkness of the club. 'Nemir is my brother. Plus, Goth said he doesn't want to and Kaith already has a partner.'
This comment received no reply as Torin went back to sipping his drink.
He slammed his bottle down on the counter, the base shattering and the last of the alcohol trickling its way out and across the wooden surface.
This wasn't what he wanted.
He looked around at the gyrating bodies on the dance floor, blood pulsing through each one.
He was thirsty.
Okay . . . NEVER should have agreed to this. I should have been stronger to face the puppy eyes, dammit.
I shall remember the consequences next time.
After I'd (ajkrgbfsmm) caved and let my friends pull me into going clubbing with them, Roku had slumped on the couch (Doritos still in hand) and watched some plot less made for TV film.
Pfft . . . Roku doesn't even understand Italian.
Kiyura had found it her duty to treat me like a dress-up doll. She said that she had to coordinate my outfit for me, otherwise she would be embarrassed to be seen with yours truly.
Anyway, objections usually never work with Kiyura, seeing as she IS taller than me.
She'd forced me into a green silk tank top that hung loosely on most of my torso, but was taught in all the right (or shameless) places. I'd said no to the flow-y black skirt that only reached a few inches down my thighs.
I should've remembered that Kiyura never takes no for an answer.
'Please?' I was begging, how pathetic. 'My legs are too pale, people won't be able to see! Or they'll have green spots floating around in their vision for the rest of the night!'
'Nuh uh.' My friend admonished me solemnly, raising her pointer finger. 'Your legs are not pale, they are white. We're going for shock here. You're going to grab people's attention.'
Yeah, by blinding them.
'Now for the last part.' She bent down in my closet, rifling through my stuff. Then she pulled out a pair of black boots, the heel dangerously high.
I had no idea where the things had come from.
'When did I get those?' I demanded, one eyebrow raised.
Kiyura looked hurt. 'Don't you remember? I got them for your birthday last year.'
Oh, right! THOSE boots, I remember now.
. . . HUH?!
So I said, 'Oh, yeah!' in "recognition" and hoped she would let it slide.
'Put 'em on.'
'You really hate me don't you?' I groaned, but obliged quickly after seeing her getting ready to shove me into them herself.
There was some trouble standing up after putting them on. I teetered to the door.
Or that's what I'd meant to do. Kiyura suddenly yanked me by the arm and dragged me to the bathroom, sitting me down on the edge of the bathtub. In her hands she held the spawn of the devil.
A make-up bag.
'You said that the shoes were the last part!'
She silenced me by brushing a sponge all over my face, then nearly poking my eye out with a stick, and then brushing rouge on my face, the powder flying everywhere and making me blink and cough. More carnage ensued after that, but I'll spare you the details.
Clipping the make-up bag shut after endless minutes she gestured for me to take a look at the mirror.
I stepped up warily . . .
Okay, Kiyura was forgiven. I totally had a genius for a friend.
My eyes stood out on my face, lined just right with kohl. It made the green in them even brighter. The rouge on my pale skin made me look warm and flushed and somehow my cheekbones were more prominent.
I'd been too busy staring at the mirror that I didn't notice Kiyura had left the bathroom until she came back a pulled a brush through my hair. Her mouth was clamped on a bunch of bobby pins as she pinned all of it so that my hair looked as short as a guy's, flat on my head.
I briefly wondered why she'd chosen this hairstyle and how I was going to break it to her that I didn't like it when she answered my question by plopping a chocolate brown wig on my head.
It had elaborate waves and tendrils that curled into my face. The bangs were low and hung a bit over my eyes. Its length reached a couple inches past my shoulders. Where did Kiyura find a wig, anyway?
Oh yeah, my Halloween costume three years back, I'd been a tree nymph.
Again, I didn't recognise the person in the mirror.
'Why the heck am I wearing a wig?' I asked, touching the waves softly. It looked so real.
Kiyura grinned, satisfied with her job well done. 'So that if you embarrass me I can always claim that I don't know you.'
I glared at her.
'Kidding. Just for a chance to experience a change. Besides, if you want to do a little work tonight and scope out where Torin is, it'll be helpful to have a disguise. That hair color looks good on you anyway.'
'So you're making me wear a wig, AND an outfit I think is wayyy too slutty. What's YOUR punishment?'
She widened her eyes innocently. 'What are you talking about?'
'I'm saying that if I have to do this, so do you.' With a flourish, I produced another wig. It was from her Halloween costume as well. She'd gone as a faerie. The pale blonde wig was cropped spiky and short in a cute pixie hairstyle.
We entered the living room where Roku was still watching TV although he'd finished the bag of Doritos. He'd changed the channel too. But Roku doesn't understand Spanish either.
'Ready to go?' he asked, getting up from the couch and stretching his arms over his head and bending himself backwards. When he turned around, his eyes bulged.
I brushed by him, trying to ignore his stare. But I ended up tripping in those damn boots and ended up having to grab the armrest of the couch.
'We'll stop by my apartment and yours so that we can change,' said Kiyura, ignoring my extreme gracefulness as she fingered her new hair. She and Roku lived in the same apartment complex with three floors between them.
'Sounds great.' I groaned, my voice muffled by the fabric of the armrest.
And we left.
Torin shouldered his way through the dancing bodies to the vampires he'd come with.
Goth's bright blonde hair and boyish features looked eerie in the swirling lights. 'Where were you, man? Been waiting ages for you.'
Torin studied the vampire. His eyes didn't seem focus and the way he held on to the "s" in "ages" proved that he was drunk.
'How much have you had? You looked smashed.'
Goth chuckled. 'Nah . . . merely buzzed.' And he grabbed himself another bottle.
To the right of him, his other companion Kaith had his arm loosely wrapped around a nameless blonde. His blue black hair fell across his eyes, and as he grinned his white teeth flashed in the darkness.
'Join the fun and grab one.' He squeezed his partner causing her to giggle and run her hand up his toned chest. She didn't seem to mind his black eye.
Another vampire, Nemir stood to Torin's left accompanied by his sister Ahzya. His black hair was slicked back and shone greasily. Their group was complete.
Torin pulled back the hood of his black hoodie and stuffed his hands in his jeans pockets. 'I shouldn't have come.'
'Don't say that,' Nemir said, seating himself on the circular booth at Goth's side. 'Loosen up and go get another beer or something.' He pushed his sister forward. 'Ahzya, go make him happy.'
Torin glared at him, ignoring Ahzya's pout. 'I'm really not up for any of this right now. He looked over his shoulder then turned back to Kaith, deepening his voice meaningfully.
'I'm feeling rather . . . parched. Will you cover for me?'
Kaith lowered his head once in a nod, understanding. Meanwhile, Nemir's thin eyebrows rose, a leering grin on his lips as he said, 'Take your pick. There're plenty of sexy ones out tonight.'
Torin snorted in disgust and left.
Stupid vampires. They had the indecency to celebrate the day after they'd gotten beat by a few elves? What was he supposed to do? Be happy about getting their asses kicked? And who was the one who was going to suffer for it when they finally got back to the Dianjo and to Vanus?
If those road blocks would ever lift. Vanus would be pissed as it was. It was going to be much worse if they returned days late after an unsuccessful mission.
He went back to his stool which was thankfully unoccupied. Someone had cleaned up the broken bottle and wiped the counter. He scanned the room, letting his instincts lead him. The taste of heat, the blinding lights, the smell of sweat.
Everything was moving.
Each body on the dance floor had its blood intoxicated. Torin watched them, trying the pick out the most inebriated. It would be easiest to take one that was completely unaware. He hopped off the stool, his sense of smell guiding him around the room. He replaced his hood, hiding his long hair and covering his eyes.
If he was spoiled for choice, he might as well find one he liked.
Roku snorted as my head flopped onto the table again. Thankfully the drink in my hand hadn't spilled.
'Careful, you lightweight,' Kiyura teased, pulling me up. 'Your wig is slipping.'
Darn my inability to down a single drink and not get tipsy.
I patted down my new hair, which was sliding into my face. A few fake strands were caught at the corner of my mouth so I blew at them.
'C'mon,' Kiyura jumped out of her seat, yanking me along with her. 'Let's dance!' I grabbed Roku's arm, almost causing him to drop his drink. As a chain, we stumbled (mostly my fault) onto the dance floor.
Roku muttered something and crossed his arms, looking firm.
'What?' I yelled over the noise, cupping a hand around my ear to show that I couldn't hear him.
'I said I don't wanna dance!' He shouted, his mouth set in a grim line.
'Oh yeah, RIGHT!' Kiyura snorted. 'You liar!'
'I don't want to!' he repeated and turned to go back to the table.
'Nooo Roku,' I whined and gripped his hand. 'We both know you can. Show us what you got!'
He shook his head. But suddenly Kiyura sneaked up behind him, shoving him. In an instant, Roku'd done a flip, clearing a space among the dancers. With a resigned look and an eyeroll at me, he did more, twisting his legs in the air and he held himself up with his hands. His biceps rippled as he pushed upwards and into a backflip.
I cheered him on, my hands in the air, Kiyura doing the same at my side. The crowd around us had joined in, screaming and moving in time with the music.
Hey you, did you turn up the heat
It's gettin' hotter, and I'm growin' weak
Maybe it's because your standing close to me
I'm coming down with something feverishly
A few guys had broken away from the sidelines and shown off their own moves; handstands and power moves. One even spun on his head.
Roku swung his legs around in a circle while balancing on his hands. It was then that Kiyura and I decided to join in. I twisted and dipped; my entire body one fluid motion. Throwing my arms in the air, I moved my hips from side to side and then round and round.
I think my body's in shock
It just don't know what to do
I feel my temperature rising past one hundred and two
The male half of the crowd whooped and catcalls assaulted our ears as the music took the rest of our senses.
Fever, fever, fever, fever. . .
The chorus played hard and loud and our bodies were more aggressive. Kiyura mirrored my movements perfectly as we popped and twisted, bending backwards only to bounce back up with more.
Fever, turning up the heat
Fever, come on and get sick with me
Give me whatcha got
Cause you know it's getting hot
Fever, I'm turning flush
Fever, I'm burning up
Fever's got me sweating, and you know I'm burning up
With the alcohol and the need to dance running though me, I found myself finally letting go.
There seemed to be a dance off on the other side of the club floor. Out of curiosity, Torin made his way to the circle of performers. He watched as two girls sank slowly to the floor, their bodies swaying to the beat. One of them, a brunette with a green top, flung her head upwards.
Their eyes met and he was startled by the vivid green of them.
What struck him most was the pounding of her blood in his ears. He could already taste it, alive and . . . burning.
There was something about her and the other girl. Their blood was so much more vivid than the other humans in the room.
She was definitely what he wanted.
Roku walked out of the circle. With a small signal to me, I gathered that he was on his way back to the table.
There was a tall figure in the audience, a black hoodie almost covering his eyes. His staring was so intent, it surprised me a bit. But nothing was about to deter me from dancing.
Nothing except Roku coming back and shoving my ringing cell phone in my face.
I rolled my eyes and took it from him. Once I saw my older brother's name I ran to the ladies room.
Inside an empty stall, the absence of the music and lights was practically heavenly. I pressed the phone to my ear.
'Where are you?' A low voice laced with suspicion answered.
Rolling my eyes, my response was, 'Don't get all "older brother" on me, Lucan Eronil. I'm fine, just hanging out with Roku and Kiyura.'
I could just imagine him puffing upwards to get rid of the black hair in his narrowed hazel eyes. Maybe pacing around the apartment that we shared when he wasn't living in Lamarea.
'It's never "just" anything with you. Where are you guys hanging out? A cave filled with vamps?'
I huffed, my muddled brain trying to think up a suitable answer. 'We're only having a few drinks. That's it, honest.'
Although Luke and I were inseparable, he had to be one of the most overprotective brothers in existence. At four years my senior, growing up together had been full of tormenting, teasing, and all the usual sibling rivalry. That is, until he decided to be nice to me when I entered the teenage years and he considered me to be in danger of hormonal guys. That's when he became all caring and considerate. Which was okay, I guess, unless he scared away those guys (if I didn't do it first).
But sometimes his protective side got in the way. Take now for example.
'A few drinks?' he deadpanned. 'What else is going to happen tonight? You get drunk, run into another equally drunk male and get pregnant? Then you have the wonderful job of telling mum and then she commits homicide?
'Always the dramatic one, aren't you?'
He let out a tired sigh. 'Look. Just be careful, okay? Give me a call when you get home. You owe me for not telling mum about this. She'd crucify you if she knew.'
I unlatched the stall door and stood at the sinks to look at myself in the mirror. My cheeks were flushed and my eyes bright, but other than that it was all good.
'Alright already. Bye Luke.'
'Don't forget to call me!' he repeated, sounding serious.
'I will. Promise. Toodles.' And I hung up.
Walking out of the restrooms, my senses were assaulted with the blaring music and lights. A new song was playing. This one had couples in the club dancing more intimately. More PG-13, you could say.
When you need it
Girl I try to hide it
But I can't escape it, oh baby
Please forgive me
When I think of you my thoughts are so x-rated
I scanned the floor, trying to spot out Roku and Kiyura. Our table was now occupied by a bunch of giggling, drunk, and scantily clad girls. My bag was still there. I quickly headed over . . . I kinda wanted to keep my wallet, thanks very much.
The girls were so smashed they barely noticed my presence. My bag had fallen (more likely it had been discarded to make room) and was now under one of the stools. Thankfully, my white collared jacket had avoided damage while lying across the floor. Bending down, I reached for both items.
'Oh my GAWD. He's totally checking her out!'
'Do you how he's all dark? All sexy and mysterious?'
'Mmm, where can I get me some of that?'
'Hello? You?' Someone poked me hard and I looked up to see a blonde swaying dangerously in her stool.
'Yeah, me?' I raised an eyebrow.
She blinked a few times then pointed directly at the black hooded man leaning against the bar. 'He's staring at you!'
I straightened, folding my jacket over my arm and sliding my bag onto my shoulder. Blondie and her friends leaned towards me, 'So go over there!'
'Um . . . no? I don't dance with random strangers.'
Blondie's friend, a redhead, giggled, 'Ooh! Looks like someone needs some liquid courage!'
She popped off the lid of a beer bottle and shoved it into my hands, the other girls cheering me on. I couldn't understand it; (being tipsy already, but lucid enough to be confused) these chicks were acting like we'd all been friends since diapers.
Their chanting united with the music and everything seemed to fog in my head.
Torin watched as the group of drunken women pushed the girl into downing two more bottles. She was hiccupping, and laughing deliriously at the most random things.
She was totally smashed.
He slowly made his way to the table, the girls were giggling and shoving her towards him.
He grinned to himself.
This was going to be too easy.
She stumbled into his chest and he had to notice again how fast and rushing her blood was. He couldn't understand why it was this way. Perhaps it was caused by some chemical imbalance, maybe it was because of excessive drink? He didn't know.
Torin placed his hands on her shoulders and nodded at the dance floor. If he could get her completely oblivious, he would be able to make his move.
I was vaguely aware of someone pulling me. I had to laugh at that. Everything was so uproariously funny!
My waist was drawn to an unfamiliar body, my back to his chest. Hands slid to my hips and my own instinctively rose, wrapping around his neck. His hood was still up, and I tugged at it, but he stopped me by bringing me flush against him. Without hesitating, I melted into him.
She was so pliable, so breakable in his grasp. Their bodies moved to the beat of the music, his need for blood and her obvious need to dance fueling their passion.
Torin felt the flame of a different hunger in him but he pushed it aside. It wouldn't do to get attached to one of his victims. After their death and his satisfaction, there could not be any regret.
Her lips parted slightly and she let out a short breath as he touched her neck, her pulse throbbing . . . straining under his finger.
Every movement sent him shivering in anticipation. He couldn't wait to taste her, feel her blood flowing over his tongue. She was exquisite, her hips rotating, her hands fisting at the base of his head, driving him mad.
Your eyes don't tell a lie
I know you wanna come with me tonight
And I'll see you right
But first you gotta
Push, push back upon it, girl
Make me believe you want it
Push, push back upon it, girl
Know I can't go on longing
Push, push back upon it, girl
Go ahead lay it on it
Don't stop until the morning, girl
Just keep pushing back on it
Hunger clawed at him. Torin imagined himself sinking his teeth into the pale skin of her throat.
The white turning red.
The imagery sent him moving against her harder, faster.
Everything about her was feverish and boiling. The pounding of her heart was hectic, the scent of her scorching blood filling his nostrils, making him dizzy and frantic.
But he had to keep a cool head if he wanted to reach his prize.
Torin stopped dancing and it took a moment for her to do so as well. He almost chuckled at the oblivion of her expression. He took her wrist and led her towards the back door. She lost her footing and tripped, almost face-planting into his back. He grabbed her by the waist and flipped her up, carrying her bridal style.
'Wh—where we goin'?' she slurred, trying to focus her vision.
'To get some fresh air,' he said, looking over his shoulder. Her two friends were leaning towards each other over a table. Empty glasses covered the space between them.
Torin smirked. They wouldn't be any nuisance in their state.
He pushed open the door with his back, casting a glance at the other vampires in the club. His eyes met with Kaith's and the vampire gave him a grin, taking in the appearance of Torin's find.
The door led to a dark alleyway and he was suddenly reminded of the other night when he'd fought the White Wolf assassin in a similar setting. He set a goal for himself. After this, he'd make getting out of this city and to the Dianjo his first priority. No more drunken nights of partying with Kaith, Goth, Nemir, and Ahzya. If he wanted to keep his rank among the vampire officials, he needed to take Vanus' orders more seriously.
She stirred in his arms, making her shirt ride up and he caught a glimpse of her toned stomach. He kept walking until he had turned the corner of the alley. There was nothing here except for the few soda cans and broken dishes that littered the ground. He looked up and saw that the window on the second story was nailed shut with wooden boards blocking anything from view. Though he doubted anyone would see anything unless they really tried. It was very dark in the shadows.
Torin set the girl down then made sure his hood was covering him, looking around one more time to see if he had been followed.
The area was clear.
She had her back to the wall with one leg brought upwards towards her chest; the other was between his legs as he knelt in front of her. Her head was slumped to the side, strands of chocolate hair falling across her cheeks.
Her eyes rolled up and looked at him, or what of his face that wasn't covered in shadow, which was pretty much his mouth, chin, and the bottom of his nose.
'I need to go.'
She struggled to stand, wavering. 'I have to go. Roku and—and Kiyura . . . and Luke . . . I have to . . .'
Torin clamped his hand on her shoulder, pushing her back against the wall. 'You're not going anywhere.'
She shook her head, moving to the side, trying to squeeze out and away from him. '. . . Gotta call Luke—'
'You can't.' His grip was harder as he caught her wrists, now that she was struggling to push him away. Her arms and legs flew wildly, trying to kick him and he blocked the erratic movement. But in doing so they both went falling to the side. The girl kept moving, clawing at his face while trying to crawl across the filthy ground to escape his hold.
Torin started as the whiff of something filled his brain. It was metallic . . . like rust.
And it was so hot.
He snatched her wrist and brought it close to his face. There was barely any light, but he knew the smell. He smelt it oozing out of the slice in her palm. She'd cut herself on one of the shattered dishes on the ground.
His mind went into a frenzy and he clamped his mouth onto the wound, finally tasting what he'd wanted all night. It was bliss, the sensation of the hot blood passing over his tongue. It overpowered his senses, and he lost himself in the feeling.
He barely heard her screaming in disgust and he didn't hear the whooshing noise that her boot made as it flew through the air towards the back of his head.
His mouth lost contact at the kick and the girl took the moment to stumble to her feet, one of them bare, the other over three inches higher making her running lopsided.
Torin lunged after her, seizing her forearm and with a whiplash movement she was careening into him. She cried out as her ankle twisted. He began to lower his lips to her throat when something caught his eye.
And he stopped. Horrified.
A brunette wig was falling off her head revealing jet black hair that fell across her shoulders and reached her lower back.
Green eyes stared up at him in pain.
Green eyes he now he now remembered were the same shade as the assassin's he'd fought with the night before.
Torin's mind went numb and he threw her away from him. She landed harshly, the back of her head hitting the brick wall behind her.
He stared as she slipped into unconsciousness and was unable to think of anything but one thought that replayed sickeningly over an over in his brain:
He had just taken the blood of the White Wolf Assassin.
A/N: Yay! Finally DONE. Sorry for the shorty. I meant for this to be longer, but it finished itself before I realized it.
I really hope I don't procrastinate again and put off Chapter 4. I'm not going to make any promises as to when it will be up. Just hope for it to be soon.
I get really inspired to write when I receive reviews. Please take a minute and drop me a note! It's really encouraging to know people are reading and who knows? I may update faster. :)
Ooo-Avia-ooO: Fast update? Lol, not really. I meant to get this out a lot earlier, but I decided to change some things and it took longer than expected. I'm glad you like this story. Thanks for your reviews!
WaterxAngel: Ouch…working the whole day? Shouldn't that be considered illegal or abuse or something, xD? I loved the King Arthur chap, by the way. You're so good!
Xx.h.o.l.l.y.m.a.r.i.e.xX: I don't know if anyone is going to imagine anything that I have. This story is gonna have one heck of a story line. It's so random, so I hope to somehow get everything to flow. Let's just say that a LOT is going to be happening. Once I'm finished this story, I'm contemplating a sequel so that I can get everything planned to happen. Thanks a lot for reviewing and adding my story to your alert list! I'm honored. :)
xxily4everxx: Thanks so much for the review!